1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Smoke & Dagger - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Smoke & DaggerSmoke & Dagger

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

762 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 762
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 41
Gots: 70 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mduncan on 07-29-2011

Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke,and coffee accompany a full bodied-and sweet chocolately malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally grown unmalted barley from MA.

25 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 762 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brez8791
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of TobiasG
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BigLittleHokis
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kawilliams81
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BColton1
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of doremite
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of sweisel80
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BostonHops
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep amber; sits a an opaque, borderline black tone while yielding a frothy 1" khaki colored head; middling retention and a little lacing evident in small patches. nose offers notes of chocolate, with some roasted malt and a little smoke. nice.

taste delivers the chocolate, roastiness, and smoke along with secondary notes of vanilla, caramel, and even a little oak. flavors work well together; distinct yet cohesive. there's a subdued hoppy presence notable in the finish... smooth, creamy mouthfeel - medium bodied - with average carbonation.

overall an excellent brew, sort of a beer Frankenstein, blending elements from a few styles (rauchbier, schwarzbier, and smoked porter); the finished product is a smooth, flavorful beer. proves you don't need an imperial to deliver and onslaught of character. while i wouldn't count any of the aforementioned styles among my personal favorites, smoke and dagger does work for me, and though it won't earn a spot in my regular rotation i will definitely be back for more in the future.

Photo of tehmogue
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of SadMachine
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 5.25.13
Dated 03.07.13

A - Pours a brown with a dark tan soapy head with good retention.

S - Smoke, fishy, malty, toasted malts.

T - Smokey and roasted malts, very similar to the nose.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Smoke and lots of lager yeast.

Photo of SHCC
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of cburns48
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nootch23
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - pours black with a about a fingers worth of a khaki white head. As the head recedes to the side of the glass makes a pretty presentable looking beer as expected with this style.

S - very roasty smell right up front with underlying traces of chocolate. Big maltiness to the smell.

T - for me this is all coffee and malt. No signs of sweetness to this beer, not even a little bit as expected. Has a semi-dry finish to it and a little bitterness that I attribute to the coffee aspect of this beer. Nice roastiness to it.

M - semi-dry finish to it. Leaves my mouth with the roastiness that was prevelant in the taste. Slight bitterness to it as well.

O - It's impressive that Jack's Abby only makes lagers and find ways of making lagers taste absolutely nothing like a lager. Smoke & Dagger is no different and tastes like a different style of beer. It's a pretty solid and a favorite of mine by them when the weather puts me in the mood for a black lager. Will definitely purchase this again.

Photo of marcdalke
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of dnoahg
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

My second Jack's Abby beer. Acquired from ICCULIS in a trade; thanks again, buddy! Per the label description, it's somewhere between a schwarzbier and a smoked porter. I'm reviewing it as a shwarzbier (not a rauchbier as currently classified on the site) because I trust the brewer over some guy who clicked a style. 5.8% ABV confirmed. 25 IBUs. 14.5 plato. 500ml brown glass bottle with standard silver unbranded pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery's reputation (though I was underwhelmed by their biere de garde).

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger light khaki colour head. Slight cream. Nice thickness. Above average (~3 minute) retention. No lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is an extremely dark brown; not quite a black but seemingly so if you don't look carefully. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Opaque (nontransparent and nontranslucent). Par for the style. Not unique or special.

Sm: Light oak catches my attention, actually. A light hint of vanilla. Has my broken nose steered me wrong? Dark malts. Chocolate malt. Very very light smoked malts - not the pork/meat or heavy smoke you get from most smoked beers, but rather a subtle backgrounded smokiness. It's extremely restrained and not at all dominant. This is definitely not a rauchbier as is currently classified. No bacon notes. Light indistinct coffee. Mild woodiness. Lacks sufficient roast. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Interesting for a schwarzbier. I can see where one could claim it's a borderline smoked porter. A mild strength aroma. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Smokiness is present throughout, but lurks as an undertone rather than surfacing as an isolated note. It lends the beer a guided cohesive feel. Dark malts and chocolate malt comprise the foundation, which is unobtrusive and somewhat generic. Any hopping is minimal; I don't notice any evocative character in terms of hops. Coffee is rather restrained; it's barely present. Tends towards the slightly sweeter side of the sweet/bitter balance, but the smokiness keeps it in check. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I do like it, but while well balanced, it doesn't provide any unique or special features. It may be one of the better scharzbiers/black lagers I've had, but that isn't saying much in my personal case. Well put together, but I suppose an ideal beer in the style would bring far more complexity and subtlety to the table. I nitpick only because I respect the quality that's there.

Mf: Nice thickness. Interesting coarseness/smoothness interplay; it varies throughout but hits either end at just the right points in my opinion. Slight overcarbonation. Decent presence on the palate. Lackluster depth of flavour. Not very soft at all. Unrefreshing.

Dr: A solid schwarzbier from Jack's Abby, but there's definite room for improvement. I think in terms of adherence to style this is a far better effort than their biere de garde. Of course, style be damned here. It's a schwarzbier-come-smoked porter and so much the better; I think it's better for its experimentation and I like what it's trying to do. Hides its ABV pretty well. Drinkable for a schwarzbier. I think the smoked character is very well implemented; this is the only subtlety I detect in the beer. Jack's Abby still has yet to truly wow me, but this is only my second beer of theirs. A solid sporting effort that gives me renewed interest in trying more of their beers. Still, it leaves much to be desired.

High C+

Photo of headyhopzhead
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of hopley
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of peensteen
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Liam

Deep brown head, decent ring of whiteish head, good amount of lace here too. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate and smoke, a little bit of liquorice, a mild but noteable hop presence as well here, bit of a dark bread note as well. Taste is of dark malts and chocolate, well roasted malts, lightly bitter, a bit of anise as well, roast-chocolate finish and aftertaste. Lightly carbonated with a medium-full body, a bit of an oily feel as well. Awesome stuff here, great flavours and really drinkable, worthy of revisits for sure.

Photo of st9647v3
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Smoke & Dagger from Jack's Abby Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 762 ratings.